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Luthiers: what's on your workbench?

Terry McInturff

40th Anniversary of guitar building!
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
6,970
A couple of things that might not be too interesting.

1) Dry-fitting a the neck joint prior to gluing the neck on. The final fit has to be a hand operation and here's a pic of the typical joint that's ready to be glued in place. The neck angle has been perfected as part of the job (of course). These are things that cannot ever be "ready to glue" straight off of the machining. The fit of the neck, and it's angle relative to the top have to be finessed per-guitar. Unfortunately.
P.S. The asymmetrical heel..."why?"... would be the subject for a separate conversation, in a different part of this fine forum. And of course the sharp edges are softened significantly, but after the neck is glued on.



2) Ive finally found a way...after 43 years full-time.. to get the true "oxidized maple" effect without the use of toxic chemicals+UV, without double-staining methods that emphasize the grain whilst making it 2-D, or by hanging in sunlight for many months. It's a 4-step process that differs from any methods I have used in the past (i.e., all of the above methods). It completely and absolutely mimics the effect of exposing the maple to air+light for months and years.

Oxidizing figured maple prior to overcoating is a finish technique that has a history ranging back to the early days of orchestral string building, and a number of methods have been used to "amber" the wood prior to any finishing....in order to provide the richest background for the finish work to come.

After experimenting on/off for a few months I finally solved the nagging problem as to how to do it safely and controllably...in short order.

The bench lighting caused this pic's color on the top to look uneven, when in fact the color is perfectly even...just as natural oxidation would be.

Oxidation is not the ideal set-up for every color scheme, but for antique-oriented sunbursts I am certain to use the new method for the remainder of my career.

This step precedes the pore filling and so the sloppy left-overs from that operation will be cleaned up after having spent the weekend in the curing room.

 
Last edited:

pukko

Member
Messages
276
Ok... following Mr McInturffs post with this seems like driving up in a Trabant following a Ferrari. Anyway... Made a logo for the headstock out of flame maple and pearloid and some pearloid tops for the P90:s. The maple in the logo will be colored, haven't decided how yet.

 

scott

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,901
I'm going to copy what I wrote on your Instagram post. That is just fantastic! I think you're finding your own style more and more with the last couple of builds. I could see just a part of a guitar that you've built and say: That's a Heatley. Can't say that about too many other builders.
Thank you very much. That means a lot because it's what I've been trying to do.
It's nice to hear that someone is also seeing it.
Im not doing anything revolutionary but I am doing what I like so it's very rewarding.
 

Dave Weir

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,346
Ok... following Mr McInturffs post with this seems like driving up in a Trabant following a Ferrari. Anyway... Made a logo for the headstock out of flame maple and pearloid and some pearloid tops for the P90:s. The maple in the logo will be colored, haven't decided how yet.

More like a Porsche following a Ferrari. Give him a run for it.
The logo looks great!
 

sargebaker

ISLAND Instruments
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
751
While doing the limited run of (relatively straight ahead) teles, I wanted to take one and make something really special with it. I chose the nicest flame maple I have and the most quartersawn body. The body is finished in the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique where the wood is scorched and then oiled, the resulting texture and feel is really amazing. The real shining star is the hardware, which except for the tuners (Gotoh open back), bridge plate (Rutters), and jack cup, is all made out of Mokume Gane, which is a combination of metals that are forged together and manipulated to create different patterns. Mokume Gane (which translates to "wood grain metal") is almost never seen in the guitar world outside of Ken Parker's tailpieces - it's ridiculously pricey stuff. I used a combination of brass, copper and nickel silver and acid etched them to create a slight surface topography and really bring out the contrast between the different layers/metals. The pickguard is handmade acrylic from Japan.







I shot a video where I dive a little deeper into all the details of this guitar and even play a couple chords at the end. I can't figure out how to directly upload it, (it's probably too long) but here's a link for those interested: https://fb.watch/40HZskVwUD/ There are more images as well.
 

sahhas

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
17,101
that body is really cool!!! love that finish!!!!!

While doing the limited run of (relatively straight ahead) teles, I wanted to take one and make something really special with it. I chose the nicest flame maple I have and the most quartersawn body. The body is finished in the Japanese Shou Sugi Ban technique where the wood is scorched and then oiled, the resulting texture and feel is really amazing. The real shining star is the hardware, which except for the tuners (Gotoh open back), bridge plate (Rutters), and jack cup, is all made out of Mokume Gane, which is a combination of metals that are forged together and manipulated to create different patterns. Mokume Gane (which translates to "wood grain metal") is almost never seen in the guitar world outside of Ken Parker's tailpieces - it's ridiculously pricey stuff. I used a combination of brass, copper and nickel silver and acid etched them to create a slight surface topography and really bring out the contrast between the different layers/metals. The pickguard is handmade acrylic from Japan.







I shot a video where I dive a little deeper into all the details of this guitar and even play a couple chords at the end. I can't figure out how to directly upload it, (it's probably too long) but here's a link for those interested: https://fb.watch/40HZskVwUD/ There are more images as well.
 




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